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Panoramic Film Camera

Panoramic photography has a history dating back well into the mid 1800s. In fact, even before cameras were invented, panoramas existed in paintings, demonstrating their wide and enduring appeal. With the invention of roll film, panoramic photography came into its own and spurred the introduction of many dedicated consumer panoramic cameras as well as hobbyist and professional variants of which there are many collectable examples.

Regular panoramic film cameras

There are principally two types of panoramic film camera. The first is the wide angle lens type, sometimes referred to as the regular panoramic camera. These cameras use wide angle lenses coupled with very wide angle film formats to produce seamless panoramic shots. These cameras use film formats ranging from 35mm to 6x12 and 6x17cm.

Rotating lens panoramic film cameras

The second generic type of panoramic camera is the rotating lens film camera. These are relatively rare. Rotating lens panoramic film cameras have a unique way of taking panoramic photographs. When the shutter button is pushed the lens swings from side to side. A slit between the lens and film rotates along with the lens, progressively exposing the film which is kept tight on a curved film plane. This in turn keeps the film a uniform distance from the lens.

Benefits of panoramic film cameras

Dedicated panoramic film cameras generally provide superior lens performance, film handling and exposure control. They also offer direct landscape composition via dedicated viewfinders. For many, the superior quality of traditional film also adds to the panoramic photography experience and quality of the resultant photograph. Rotating lens panoramic film cameras can cover angles up to 360 degrees.

Vintage, rare and not so rare panoramic film cameras

For collectors and enthusiasts alike, the range of vintage cameras is diverse. From the rarest and the most expensive to the highly affordable but no less capable there's a model to please all tastes and panoramic photography needs. Which one suits best and appeals most will all be down to personal preference.

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